Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Networking P.E.A.C.E.

"Networks are the strategy by which small groups can transform an entire society."
[Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, (J.P. Tarcher, 1980) p. 214]

"Thanks to technology, this is the first generation with the capacity to be global Christians. . . . Now we must mobilize them. . . . To move the American church from selfish consumerism to unselfish contribution -- serving God by serving others."
[Rick Warren, November 6-7, 2006, Atlanta GA]

The apparent strategy for globally marketing Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan is networking. This takes the form of "viral" network marketing in which "Network Leaders" are selected and trained to serve as "upline" style doorkeepers to the megalithic and secretive P.E.A.C.E. database (see 10/30/06 Herescope). These Network Leaders "will have the right to share access with other churches and organizations." Viral marketing is defined by Wikipedia as:

"Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can harness the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly."

Specifically, it is anticipated that the 4-step strategy of "pyromarketing" as outlined in the book by this name by Greg Stielstra (HarperBusiness, 2006) will be followed to market the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. Stielstra describes how Rick Warren used a group of 1200 pastors who subscribed to www.pastors.com to serve as the "driest tinder" which was then ignited to launch the successful advertising campaign to market the book The Purpose Driven Church (p. 78-79). And The Purpose Driven Life campaign built upon that same foundation of network marketing:

"The campaign began in affiliation networks created by a handful of churches. By dividing each congregation into small groups of eight to ten that met once each week, the campaign created network neighborhoods of ideal size and ensured that if three or four people adopted the book and its message, the rest of the group would soon follow. The four hundred thousand people in those initial churches became excited about the book and began recommending it in their other affiliation networks: their work, their school, their subdivision, their golf league, and so on. Those people took the news to their networks. Some people took their book on business trips and talked about it with their seatmate on the plane. That person bought a copy and began sharing it with their network neighborhood in another city. Soon whole communities were synchronized." (p. 168)

"Pyromarketing," in a nutshell, is a network marketing strategy based on:

1. gathering the "driest tinder" (identifying those most likely to ignite),
2. touching the tinder with a match (giving people a positive sensory experience with your product or service),
3. fanning the flames ("equipping people to spread your message through word of mouth"), and
4. "saving the coals." (p. 6-7)

"Saving the coals" means "keeping a record of the people who respond to your marketing so you can identify, understand, engage, and mobilize them for years to come." (p. 176) Keeping a record means: "Capture the information generated by every transaction." (p. 185) Stielstra describes how this databasing of contact information worked previously:

"Rick Warren could enlist twelve hundred pastors to participate in the Forty Days of Purpose Campaign with a single e-mail message because he had built a database of -- and a relationship with -- the seventy thousand pastors who used his www.pastors.com Web site. By saving the coals as the last step in a previous campaign, he enabled the first step in the next." (p. 177) [emphasis added]

According to an Internet summary of P.E.A.C.E. briefings held by Saddleback in 2006, Rick Warren reported that he has 250,000 leaders and 400,000 pastors receiving his Pastors Toolbox. That's quite a bit of dry tinder to start with!

In a related report, "Getting Ready for P.E.A.C.E.," the marketing campaign is further detailed:

"The Saddleback team is gearing up for Church briefings to be held across the country beginning in 2007. In addition, Saddleback's 2006 Christmas service is being broadcast by the Fox network, and that service will highlight P.E.A.C.E. in some way, further fueling interest. The Saddleback P.E.A.C.E. team also is beginning to work with various denominations and groups of churches, taking the P.E.A.C.E. message to their conventions and associations.

"To date Saddleback has recruited approximately a thousand North American churches to get involved in P.E.A.C.E. Skip Lanfried, in charge of North American church recruitment, would love to see that number grow ten-fold within the next 12 months and then continue on an upward trajectory. He estimates that the number of churches actively involved in P.E.A.C.E. initiatives will really begin to explode in the fall of 2008, 2009, and 2010. . . .

"So who will buy into P.E.A.C.E.? My best guess is that younger churches will eagerly adopt P.E.A.C.E. . . ." [emphases added]

Small groups are the key to the success of this marketing campaign: "phase 2 . . . seeks to mobilize the entire congregation through small-group involvement." To mobilize small groups, the next phase of the various 40-days campaigns will be "40 Days of Vision" which will focus on "missional and structural renewal" which will "incorporate a lay version of The Purpose Driven Church currently under development."

Small groups will eventually be able to access the P.E.A.C.E. mega-database (known as "Peacepedia") which will serve as the global brain for world mission activities. Mission groups, churches, businesses, agencies, government and and other "key P.E.A.C.E. players" will interact with this database by sharing information and receiving highly-scripted e-training. Many will be invited to a P.E.A.C.E. Summit on May 15-18 this year.

To be continued, Lord willing . . .

The Truth:

"But though, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and for, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4)